A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 796: A Gin of Colour and a Whole Lot of Wine…

Empress 1908 gin

Friday, May 14th: I participated in a Zoom tasting of Empress 1908, a gin inspired by the Empress Hotel on Vancouver Island, famous for its afternoon teas. Now, I am not a gin drinker and usually not fond of this spirit – but this was unique. Indigo blue in colour, it was distilled in Sydney, BC, and launched in 2017 to highlight the hotel’s tea, Blue Suede Shoes. The colour comes from the Butterfly Pea flower native to Thailand. Apart from juniper, the other botanicals used are Empress black and white teas, dried grapefruit, coriander, cinnamon and ginger.

As I mentioned, I’m not a gin drinker, so I hesitate to rate Empress 1908, simply to say it has a spicy palate with a touch of sweetness – and it looks great: the colour changes chameleon-like depending on whether you add a slice of lemon or orange.  It costs $49.95 at the LCBO.

Now here are some wines…

Escudo Rojo Chardonnay 2019 (Maipo Valley, Chile)
Bright straw colour; toasty, struck flint and apple nose; medium-bodied, dry, mango and pineapple flavours with well-integrated oak; beautifully balanced (90)

Jacquart Mosaique Millesime Brut Champagne 2008 (Champagne, $74.95, Vintages #19359)
Straw coloured with an active mousse of tiny bubbles; toasty, biscuity nose of green apple; mature, elegant, crisply dry, apple and lemon flavours with a macadamia nut finish. Great length. A very sophisticated champagne. (94)

A bunch of rosés

Henry of Pelham Three of Hearts 2019 (Niagara Peninsula, $19.95, Vintages Essential #552562)
Palest pink; minerally, struck flint and wild strawberry nose; medium-bodied, crisply dry, sour cherry and wild strawberry flavours with fresh acidity and great length. (89)

Bonny Doon Vineyard Vin Gris de Cigar 2020 (Central Coast, $19.95, Vintages #880501, to be released July 24th)
Very pale, flesh pink in colour; minerally, cherry pit nose; medium-bodied, mouth-filling, red apple and plum flavours. (88.5)

Gérard Bertrand Gris Blanc Rosé (Languedoc-Roussillon, $15.75, LCBO #14673)
75% Grenache Gris, 25% Grenache. Faintest blush of pink; red berries on the nose; medium-bodied, dry, fruity, sour cherry and cranberry flavours. (88)

Gérard Bertrand Hampton Water 2020 (Languedoc-Roussillon, $29.95, Vintages #66733, to be released July 10th)
A blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre; palest pink; fresh, lightly floral nose of cranberry and watermelon; medium-bodied, dry, cranberry and strawberry flavours; beautifully balanced and great length. (90)

Quails’ Gate Rosé 2020 (Okanagan Valley, $19.95, Vintages #275842, to be released July 10th)
Pale salmon in colour, minerally nose of yellow cherry, raspberry and grapefruit with a lightly toasty note; medium-bodied, dry, lightly floral with a touch of residual sweetness balanced by lively acidity. An elegant rosé. (90)

More rosés

Aix Rosé 2020 (Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, $24.95, Vintages #451906, to be released June 26th)
Pale flesh pink in colour; lightly floral, red berry nose; medium-bodied, dry, fresh and lively on the palate, with raspberry and redcurrant flavours. (89)

Speck Bros. Aria Rosé 2020 (Ontario, $14.95, LCBO #14981)
Very pale pink with a bluish tint; lightly floral, strawberry nose; light-bodied, dry, petillant with flavours tangerine, lychee and strawberry; Well-balanced and easy drinking. Good value. (89).

Calvet Celebration Brut Sparkling Rosé ($16.95, LCBO #16327)
Pale salmon colour; minerally, strawberry nose; light to medium-bodied, dry, pear and strawberry flavours with a light mousse and a refreshing finish. (88.5)

Calvet Rosé South of France 2020 (Terres du Midi, 1.5L, bag with a tap)
Salmon pink; minerally, lightly spicy, red berry nose with a slightly metallic note; medium-bodied, just off-dry with banana and strawberry flavours and a touch bitter on the finish. (86)

Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Chardonnay 2019 (Pays d’Oc, $18.25, Vintages #10621, to be released July 10th)
Bright, pale straw in colour; lightly toasty, apple nose; medium-bodied, dry, spicy melon and apple flavours with citrus notes. Easy drinking. (88)

Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Pinot Noir 2019 (Pays d’Oc, $19.95, Vintages #20751, to be released July 10th)
Deep ruby-purple colour; earthy, mushroom, beetroot and raspberry bouquet with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, cherry and raspberry flavours with lively acidity. (89)

Sisters’ Run Old Testament Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Sisters’ Run Old Testament Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (Coonawarra, $17.95, Vintages #478271)
Deep purple colour; cedary, blackcurrant nose with an earthy note; medium to full-bodied, savoury, herbal blackcurrant and blackberry flavours with ripe tannins and lively acidity. (90)

Bianco di Morgante Il Bianco 2019 (Sicily, $19.95, Vintages #17701)
100% Nero d’Avola vinified as a white wine. Pale straw in colour; minerally, lightly floral, peach nose; medium-bodied, dry. Green apple and lemon flavours. Firmly structured with racy acidity. (89)

This entry was posted in Wine Lover's Diary and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply